The defamation case being brought by Vern Unsworth, who was called “pedo guy” by Elon Musk, is due to begin later today. In July 2018, when 12 boys got stuck in a flooded cave in Thailand, Musk offered to use a mini-submarine which he built to perform a rescue. Unsworth, who was on the rescue team described Musk’s comments as a PR stunt which in turn resulted in Musk calling Unsworth a “pedo guy” on Twitter.
With the case, Vern Unsworth is seeking punitive and compensatory damages from Musk. Unsworth’s legal team have stated that the accusation was “vile and false” while Musk argues that the term “pedo guy” is just a common insult in the area he grew up in; he claims that he wasn’t literally calling Unsworth a paedophile, but rather using it to refer to Unsworth’s “appearance and demeanour”.
At the time of the spat, Tesla’s stock price dropped by 4% as a result of the comments made by its head. In order to recover the stock price, Musk was forced to issue the following apology:
“His actions against me do not justify my actions against him. [I spoke] in anger after Mr Unsworth said several untruths and suggested I engage in a sexual act with the mini-sub, which had been built as an act of kindness and according to specifications from the dive team leader.”
It’s unclear how long the case will last, however, Elon Musk’s legal team has insisted that it will not be seeking an out-of-court settlement so it’ll likely be up to the jury to decide the matter.
Source: BBC News